One Year Anniversary!

9:55 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

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I'm excited and amazed at how much my blog has grown since the first post. Thank you for all your kind comments and tweets and words of encouragement along the way. They have certainly made this journey worthwhile.

I just wanted to thank Brigid of The Couch Gymnast because her blog is what inspired me to start mine. What started out on blogger as a fun little corner of the internet for gym fans has now turned into an amazing source for all the latest news without losing the intriguing opinion posts. I'm also pretty sure it was the first gym blog I found back in 2008 which spiraled into other blogs and eventually international gymnast forum and my obsession with finding and doing adult gymnastics.

I'd also like to thank Rick at GymnasticsCoaching for sharing my blog posts and GymNewstics for retweeting my tweets and posts. Without both of you, I would not have met half of the people I've met on the gymternet and had the encouragement to keep posting.

Thank you to my friends who may or may not be reading that allow me to ramble about gymnastics in real life and pretend like they're actually listening!

Finally, thank you to all of you. It's been a really fun year getting to talk to everyone and getting to learn more about gymnastics. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Here are a few of my favorite posts!
Athlete Superlatives - Coaching Style! - This post was a ton of fun to write. I decided which athlete I would want coaching in different aspects of the gym.

Tie Break Heart Break - This post took me a long time and was very difficult for me to write but I finally got the point out that I wanted. "These athletes are the best of the best, survived the selection process, survived the 2 per country, survived the code, and you STILL find reason for them not to medal? If you've evaluated them to be the same as another athlete, after all the hoops they've jumped through, why is there a reason to differentiate them now? These athletes "fought hard," just as the creed said, so why diminish their achievement by changing their placement?"

The Olympics Are Over. Now What? - My attempt at a funny post. It came out fairly well I think.

100 Days to London! The Questions Amongst The Excitement - Interesting post to look back on now that it's been over 100 days since the Olympics. Remember Cheng Fei's comeback shortened by injury? And I didn't even include Aly when I spoke about floor exercise. Maybe I just didn't want to state the obvious...

Why You Should Be Excited for Nastia's Floor Routine - I was so excited for a Nastia Liukin-Travis Wall floor routine but that never came to life. Hopefully, we can see his work in gymnastics soon.

Where Have All the Straddle Splits Gone - This post was sparked by NCAA so it seems appropriate to bring it back now. I'm curious to see what direction the code of points goes in to allow for more variety.

Thank you to all the athletes and video editors that have allowed me an interview. I have a few more on the way but you can read the previous ones here.

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On The Rise: Team Canada Part 3

1:50 AM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

A new series looking at countries and athletes that can challenge for medals in major competitions this quadrennium.

Source: Grace Chiu/Grace Click

This is the last for Canada. There are lots of talented athletes but if I keep going, I'll do the entire national team! Learn a bit about Maegan Chant who will be competing at the American Cup, Sabrina Gill who is excellent on floor and uneven bars, and Aleeza Yu who has a 6.3 D-score on uneven bars as a junior!

Maegan Chant - 1st year senior
Many have been asking: Who is Maegan Chant? Chant is a first-year senior who will be competing at the American Cup this weekend. She is coached by former Romanian World and Olympic medalist Cristina Bontas at World Class Gymnastics. Chant won the senior all-around and was first place on vault and floor at last weekend's Gymnastics Legends International in Los Angeles (held by McKayla Maroney's gym, AOGC - more info here).
Accomplishments: 2nd AA, 3rd on VT, UB, FX at 2013 Elite Canada; 3rd with the Team, 3rd on VT at 2012 Pacific Rim
VT - Tsuk Full (5.2 D)
UB - 4.9 D - Gienger, full twisting double back dismount
BB - 5.3 D - L-turn, back handspring - layout stepout, side aerial to 2 feet, double pike dismount. (The routine I linked to received a 4.8 D-score (12.6) but you can see where she wasn't given the CV on her leap-salto combinations.)
FX (13.525/5.7 D - embedded below) - double layout, full in piked, front tuck through to double back, double pike

Sabrina Gill - 2nd year senior
Recent Accomplishments: 3rd AA Nadia Comaneci International, 4th AA 2013 Elite Canada
FX - (5.5 D/12.850) - double arabian, 1.5 through to double tuck, 2.5 to stag, double pike - The video is a bit far away but she seems like she's dancing well and the choreography works well with the music.
UB - (5.2 D?/13.90 - embedded below) - lots of stalders, straddled Jaeger, and Ricna (stalder Tkatchev) - Gill's handstands aren't perfect but she does have nice stalder work.

Aleeza Yu - senior in 2014
Recent Accomplishments: 3rd AA, 1st on UB at 2013 Elite Canada; 2nd AA at Nadia Comaneci International
VT - full twisting Yurchenko
UB (6.3 D/13.2 with a fall - embedded below) - inbar stalder - inbar stalder 1/2 - endo 1/2, toe-on shaposh to bail, double pike dismount

Check out other posts in the On The Rise Series:
Canada Part 1
Canada Part 2


Montage Monday: Team Canada

12:10 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

National Gymnastics Week just ended in Canada and check out On The Rise: Team Canada Part 1 and Part 2. Here are a few Canada montages I found. If you have any other, please share!

Gymnastics Team Canada - Supergirl
by dominiquemoceanufan
This one contains the Canadian Fierce 5 but also other member of the National Team like Talia Chiarelli. The montage was made after the Olympics so clips from the Olympics are included alongside clips of the athletes when they were younger. Watch here:


On The Rise: Team Canada Part 2

1:53 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

A new series looking at countries that are On The Rise and may be able to challenge the countries at the top at the team or individual level as we approach Rio 2016.

Casey Carvahlo, Gabriella Douglas, Kaitlyn Hofland of Futures Gymnastics at 2012 Gymnix

Gabriella Douglas - Futures Gymnastics
Accomplishments: 8th on BB at 2012 Canadian Championships, 1st on BB at 2012 Elite Gym Massilia, 4th BB, 10th AA at 2012 Elite Canada
Watch For: Her prowess on beam. Gabriella does a double turn to single turn, an illusion turn, and a triple turn. She also does a side aerial to sky high back tuck. Watch her 2012 Gymnix beam performance here. FX - double arabian, full twisting double back, triple turn-double turn. UB - very floaty Tkatchev.
Upgrades: There are a few training videos of Ella Douglas: switch split to front tuck, quad turn, and 2 1/2 sit spin into standing full turn on BB. She has also played around with a quintuple turn too! That same account has video of her training a Jaeger on UB.

Kaitlyn Hofland - Futures Gymnastics
Accomplishments: 3rd AA at Canadian Championships in 2011 (as a Junior), 5th AA at 2012 Elite Canada, 8th at 2012 Glasgow World Cup
Watch For: Hofland became a senior in 2012. She was in the running for Olympic selection but sustained an injury earlier in the year. Consistency seems to be an issue but she is a lovely gymnast with excellent style and toe point. Her best events are bars and beam although she is a fair all-around gymnast. She has a very unique beam set with a double turn to immediate back tuck, full twisting back handspring (Kotchetkova), and a back walkover from sitting (Valdez) - back handspring step out - layout step out. Watch her beam here or below. UB - straddled Jaeger, Tkatchev, Ricna, and double front dismount.
Upgrades: Hofland is working a Khorkina (clear hip Shaposhnikova) on UB and a back tuck - Kotchetkova on BB.

Credit: Gymnastics Ontario
Madeline (Maddie) Gardiner
Accomplishments: 2nd BB, 4th UB, 5th AA, at 2012 Canadian Championships, 4th AA, 1st on beam, 5th on FX, 8th UB at 2012 Elite Canada, competed at 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Watch For: On BB, Maddie does an excellent double sit spin to an immediate split and a switch-leg side aerial on the balance beam.
Upgrades: Gardiner is recovering from broken wrists but is hoping to bring back her back handspring - layout stepout - back pike on beam that she competed when she was younger. Her next competition will be Gymnix. Watch her 2011 beam routine here.

Credit: Gymnastics Ontario
Mikaela Gerber
Accomplishments: 4th BB 2012 Canadian Championships, 4th FX, 5th BB, 7th AA at 2012 Elite Canada, 7th in AA, 2nd on FX at 2011 Pan Ams,
Watch For: Gerber is great on floor with excellent interpretation of her music and amazing flexibility (watch here). On beam, she does a front-aerial to immediate back tuck and she also has a lovely and interesting mount.
Upgrades: "I'm adding a 2/1 layout off bars, I've upgraded my leaps on floor, and I'm doing switch split-switch half-back tuck on beam."


On The Rise: Team Canada

2:19 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

A new series looking at countries that are On The Rise and may be able to challenge the countries at the top at the team or individual level this quad. Check out On The Rise: Switzerland.

Ellie Black
Credit: Grace Chiu/GraceClick.Ca

In 2012, Team Canada finished the highest ever in a non-boycotted Olympics when they earned 5th place in the Olympic team final. Their Olympic team consisted of Kristina Vaculik, Victoria Moors, Ellie Black, Dominique Pegg, and Brittany Rogers. Christine Peng Peng Lee was named Honorary Team Captain since she injured her ACL during the Olympic selection process. The reserves were Madeleine Gardiner and Jessica Savona. No one has officially retired from elite, so all of these athletes will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

Canada through the years:
2008 Olympics - 2 athletes attended - Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (16th AA final) & Nansy Damianova (38th AA qualifications, 4th reserve)
2010 World Championships - 13th place
2011 World Championships - 11th place
2012 Olympics - 5th place

Victoria Moors
Achievements: Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 1st FX, 2nd UB, AA 2012 Canadian Nationals; 2nd FX at 2012 London Test Event
Watch For: Strong on floor - athlete most likely to stick her passes including a double layout and double double tucked. Move named after her on UB - toe-on double front 1/2 out dismount. Watch her new floor routine here.
Upgrades: Before the Olympics, Moors tweeted about accidentally doing an Amanar and has recently posted a keek video of her training a full twisting double layout on a trampoline into the pit. She has not competed both the double layout and double double in the same routine but I think it's possible.

Ellie Black
Achievements: 1st AA 2013 Elite Canada; Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 8th VT Olympic Finals; 1st on VT, 3rd FX, 7th on BB 2012 Canadian Nationals
Watch For: Very unique tumbling on floor exercise - including a 2.5 twist through to triple twist. Ellie vaults a Rudi (now 6.2) and a Tsuk 1/1 (5.2). Ellie is working on many upgrades including a new UB dismount and a triple turn-double turn-full turn combination on balance beam. She competed a new dismount at Elite Canada - toe-on piked half.